Preparing your HVAC System for Winter

With winter fast approaching, it’s important to ensure that your HVAC(Heating Ventilation, & Air Conditioning) system is fully functional and ready for whatever the weather throws at it. No one wants to be caught in the middle of winter with no heat.

Technician fixing gas furnace using electric and plumbing tools.

While major maintenance and repairs should be handled by a certified technician, here are some helpful strategies you can use yourself to prepare your HVAC system for winter:

Schedule a Check-Up Visit with a Technician

Professional technicians are certified and knowledgeable about all components of your HVAC system. They’ll be able to repair any immediate problems, as well as talk you through potential long-term problems. If you do choose to have a technician visit, try and do this as soon as possible. It’s more difficult to schedule a repair during the winter, as the busier these systems are, the busier the technicians are.

Consider Replacing your System

Your HVAC system should be replaced every 10-15 years. The energy efficiency of new systems continues to improve year over year and while replacing an HVAC system can be expensive, the difference in monthly energy bills alone can make up for it. Additionally, the older a system gets, the more likely it is to need major repairs and the more likely it is to break on you during the worst weather conditions. If you do choose to go this route, this should be done as soon as possible to avoid peak-season rates

Test the Thermostat and/or Consider a Programmable Thermostat

Before the weather kicks into high gear, test your home thermostat. Pay attention to how long it takes to heat the house to the desired temperature. If it’s too slow or not working at all, it’s time to call a technician. Also consider installing a programmable thermostat. These devices allow you to remotely control the settings of your HVAC system, meaning you can turn it off when you leave the house and turn it on right before you get home. When your HVAC system runs less frequently, it’s less likely to need repairs and you save money.

Check for Unusual Sounds and Noises

Turn your HVAC system on and listen for any unusual noises while walking around your home. Anything that sounds out of place should be checked on as soon as possible by a technician.

Clean All Vents and Outdoor Components

Furnace filter maintenance with hand changing home appliance

Make sure to check all of the vents inside of your house for debris, dirt, and obstruction. Anything preventing air from coming through the vents is putting an unnecessary strain on your system. Additionally, make sure to do this with the outside components of your system as well. Leaves, dirt, and other debris can obstruct the outdoor component that houses the compress and condenser. Remove any unwanted debris from the component. Lastly, make sure to replace any air filters.